Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tasty Skinny Margarita

Have I told you that I love Bethenny Frankel?  I think she is hilariously funny and I appreciate her raw honesty. I also think she has one smokin' hot bod! While I don't think her great figure is solely due to her Skinny Girl recipes and products, her marketing approach totally worked on me. So one sunny weekend afternoon I mixed up her recipe for the Skinny Girl Margartia, and much to my disappointment, I thought it was awful (straight tequila with a squeeze of lime - I haven't had a night like that since college)! So awful, in fact, that once her margarita mix made it big, I could not be convinced to buy it. Instead, I decided that I could come up with my own Skinny Margarita recipe. So, you know what? I did, and humbly I must say it is so much better (albeit probably has more calories) than the Skinny Girl Margarita. Sorry Bethenny. I guess ultimately the jokes on me, because she's laughing all the way to the bank!

Skinny Margarita
1 part white Tequila
1/2 part freshly squeezed lime juice
1 part soda water
A splash freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
Crush ice
Salt, if desired

Mix liquids in a cocktail shaker and serve of the crused ice in a salt rimmed glass. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Help a Sister Out & Enter for a $35 Gift Card!

I know I don't reveal much about my personal life on my blog, but in order for you to understand the plea that follows I am going to open up a bit! For the past 5 years I have spent my life's work focused on students with autism. I am a school psychologist and soon to be Board Certified Behavior Analyst (sat for the exam in May and am on pins and needles waiting for my results), which has allowed me to work with students not only as a diagnostic clinician, but also as a provider of interventions. Therefore, I am often able to follow students from first diagnsosis through several years of treatment. Watching these students blossom is an amazing process and I feel fortunate that I am able to be a part of it!

Now here's where you come in ;) I have a great opportunity for you to support the autism community and help me win an iPad to use with my students. The iPad is not only a fantastic instructional tool for kids who are nonvocal and/or have strengths in visual processing, it also will be invaluable in collecting and graphing data on my students’ academic and behavioral progress. I simply need to sell any combination of 60 of the items pictured below.

How to participate:

• Place an order from the website (

• When you make your purchase you MUST put my first and last name (Heather Langknecht) in the section that says "Challenger's Name", otherwise I won’t receive credit & you won't be entered in the drawing :(

• After you place your order, come back here and post a comment telling me what you ordered and if/how your life has been touched by someone with autism.

• Once I cross-check your name with the orders you will be entered in a drawing for a $35 Amazon gift card (this could turn into a money maker for you!). I will announce the lucky winner on July 15.

The following are the only items from the site that count toward the challenge:

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swiss Chard Tart with Potato Crust

Had a wonderful weekend despite the hot and humid weather. We went for several runs in the local state park, spent a few hours at the beach, drank some margaritas, and made a couple of trips to various farmers' markets - all in all, an excellent weekend! As a result, I have several new recipes to share with you this week and am starting with this wonderful Swiss Chard Tart from one of my favorite cookbooks, believe I've mentioned it before, Stonewall Kitchen, Harvest. I was able to pick up a beautiful mix of red, pink, and golden yellow Swiss Chard and immediately thought of this recipe - it's quick, easy, beautiful, and it will not disappoint - guaranteed!

Swiss Chard Tart with Potato Crust

Makes 2 tarts; each serves 4-6

1 1/2 lb. Swiss chard
1 lg clove garlic, very thinly sliced
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 lg high-starch potatoes, unpeeled & scrubbed clean
3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 heaping C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 lg eggs
2 C ricotta cheese

Trim the stems from the chard, wash the leaves thoroughly, drain and dry. Coarsely chop the chard. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbps of the oil over medium heat. Add half the chard and half the garlic and cook, stirring frequently. As the chard cooks down, add the remaining chard and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring until chard is just tender. Tilt the skillet to the side and blot up any excess liquid with paper towel. Let cool.

To make the crust, slice the potatoes very thinly. It's fine if some of the slices are smaller than others - the important thing is to make them fairly uniform in thickness. Create a thin layer of the potato slices on the bottom of the two pie plates (preferably glass), slightly overlapping them to create a solid bottom "crust." Gently tuck potato slices along the edges to create a border up the sides of the pie plates. When you're done, you should have two solid pie "crusts." Use thin or oddly shaped potato slices to fill in any gaps. Discard the remaining slices. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the oil over each crust, swirling the pan slightly so the oil spreads between the potato layers and drips to the bottom. Sprinkle each crust with 1/2 tsp of thyme, some salt, and pepper, and a heaping 1/4 C of Parmesan cheese.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and whisk in the ricotta, the remaining 2 tsp thyme, and the remaining 1/2 C Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled sauteed chard and mix well. Divide the filling between the two pie crusts and press down lightly.


Bake the tart for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 10 minutes. The potato crust should turn brown and crisp, and the filling should feel solid and firm when gently touched with your fingers. Let cool about 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.